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Home painting tips and hacks

Decorator Holds Paint Colour Charts In Hands

A fresh coat of paint is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into your home. In fact, painting your home can have a significant effect on your overall wellbeing, as the colours in your living space can stimulate your energy, evoke happiness or calm you down.
But how to make the home painting process as smooth as possible while achieving professional-looking results?
In today’s blog, we’ve compiled some useful tips and hacks to guide you through the home painting process and help you avoid the most common pitfalls. From choosing the perfect colour palette to using the right tools, our blog will set you ready for your next home painting project, empowering you to transform your home into a colourful hub with confidence.

Jump to:
Choosing the right paint
Select the right tools and materials
Prepare your home for painting
Home painting hacks
Clever cleanup 


If you’re a Places for People that lives within one of our rented homes, you don’t need our permission to paint your space. However, there are a few home improvements that we would like to be informed of before you carry them out. For more information on what these improvements are, please visit our home improvements page.

Choosing the right paint

Selection Of Brightly Coloured Tins Of Paint And Colour Charts

Before starting the process of painting your home, it’s important to get an understanding of the psychological impact of colours on mood and atmosphere. 

  • To give an example, yellow, orange, and red are bright, warm colours, evoking feelings of happiness, optimism, and energy. Therefore, these colours work best in rooms that are lively and experience a higher traffic, such as kitchen or dining room.
  • On the other hand, cool colours like blue, green, or purple have a soothing effect, reducing stress and helping you unwind. Cool tones work well in the bedroom, bathroom, or living room.
  • When choosing the right palette for your sleeping area, it’s recommended to reach for pastel and muted shades, as they evoke calmness and serenity.
  • And finally, opting for white is always a good idea, giving you versatility when decorating the rest of your home with furniture, fabrics, or wall décor. 

However, regardless of the tone you’ve chosen, you should always gather a few testing paint samples before purchasing the whole tube. While the shade you’ve picked might look just perfect in the artificial light of the DIY store, seeing the colour in various lights or times of day in your actual room can reveal slight nuances that might change the overall appearance of the colour.
Additionally, having a testing sample will help you learn more about the paint’s abilities and texture. While it’s generally recommended to opt for water-based paints for DIY house projects as they’re easier to work with, it’s still important to keep an eye on other features of the paint, including: 

  • Toxicity – as this can cause skin irritation and be harmful to plants, young children and pets
  • Washability and stain-resistance
  • Paint sheet and shine
  • Dust resistance
  • Water resistance

To make your home project as budget friendly as possible, keep an eye on your local DIY stores, as they regularly have a range of sales and discounts on certain brands of interior paint. By following these special offers, you can get the colour and quality of the paint you want for significantly less.  

Select the right tools and materials

Once you’ve chosen your favourite colour, it’s time to shift your attention towards the tools you need. Like with every other DIY project, the selection of painting tools available in the market is endless, and each one serves a specific purpose to help you achieve the best possible results.
However, this is the essential kit you need to have when getting into home painting: 

Appropriate clothing
If you have sensitive skin, it is advised that you cover up any part of your body that may come in contact with paint. Gloves, overalls and even face masks might be good additions to your painting toolkit. 

Paint brushes 
Start with paint brushes of different sizes, depending on the area you’re planning to paint. For example, use smaller brushes for detailed work around trim, corners, and edges, while larger brushes or rollers are ideal for covering broader surfaces.

Paint rollers 
Paint rollers are absolutely essential for home painting, helping you apply the paint evenly and efficiently on the wall. They come in various sizes and different textures, providing a smooth finish on walls and ceilings.

Paint tray 
A paint tray is a shallow, rectangular container used to hold and distribute paint for rollers, making the painting process smoother and tidier.

Masking tape 
Masking tape will help you cover the area you don’t want to paint over, such as the door frame, skirting boards, electrical sockets, light switches, or the adjacent wall.

Drop cloths 
Whether you lay them on the floor or over the furniture, drop cloths will protect your home from accidental spills and splatters of paint. Alternatively, you can also use plastic sheets or old newspaper to protect areas of your home.

Tools For Painting And Decorating

Alongside the necessary tools mentioned above, these are a few additional items you might find handy, depending on the condition of your walls or the height of your rooms. These include for example: 

  • Fine grit sandpaper, to prepare some surfaces for paint
  • Paint scraper, to remove old paint if needed
  • Filler, for any small cracks or gaps
  • Putty knife, for using the filler
  • Paint comb, for cleaning your paint brushes
  • Primer, for surfaces that need this
  • Extension pole for your roller
  • Ladder

Prepare your home for painting

While using appropriate tools and techniques will help you make the painting process smooth and tidy, it’s still important to prepare your home for the transformation.
These are some of the steps to follow before the first brushstroke: 

  • Remove all the accessories and decorations from the proximity of the wall you’re planning to paint.
  • Follow with removing or covering (with tape) any detachable items that could be in your way, such as light switch plates and sockets.
  • If you’re painting the entire room, try to gather all the pieces of furniture in the middle and cover them with a drop cloth or a plastic sheet.
  • Clean and dust the areas you’re planning to paint, as dirt and grease can affect paint adhesion and the quality of the coating.
  • Make sure enough ventilation is available, especially in using solvent based paints.
  • Inspect the walls and repair any imperfections, such as holes or cracks by using a filler.
  • Use fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or uneven textures.
  • If you’re moving from dark colour to a lighter tone, or if the wall was previously filled or repaired, you might want to treat the walls with a layer of primer first, helping you achieve a uniform colour and durable finish.

Alongside making the adjustments in your home before the painting process, it’s also important to consider the timing of your renovation. But when’s the ideal time to paint the house? Generally, you should aim for a warm and dry day, letting the fresh coating on the wall dry naturally, by opening as many windows and doors as possible. 

Keeping Tidy While Decorating

Home painting hacks

After making all adjustments to your home, you can jump straight into the painting process. While it may seem like a trivial task, applying a consistent layer of paint on your walls can be tricky, and it’s always useful to have a few clever tips ready to hand.
Using masking tape 
As mentioned above, masking tape, also known as painter’s tape, is super-handy to cover the areas you don’t want to paint, but also to help you achieve straight lines with the brush, especially when leaving a gap between the painted surface and a ceiling, or an adjacent wall.
Protect small areas with petroleum jelly 
Using painter's tape is a perfect solution when marking off larger areas or parallel lines. However, to protect smaller areas in your home, such as door knobs, hinges or screws, you can cover them with a thin coating of petroleum jelly. You’ll need to be careful not to get the jelly anywhere you want to paint though.

Check the texture of the paint 
Before applying the paint on the wall, give it a good stir using a paint stirrer or a wooden stick. While making sure the paint is thoroughly mixed, the stirrer will help you get rid of lumps or other pieces settled on the bottom of the tin.
Always use a paint tray 
Using a paint tray will save you a lot of trouble when painting at home. A paint tray helps you distribute the paint evenly over the roller or brush and can prevent accidental drips and spills.

Paint Brushes And Rollders

Layer the paint if needed 
Whether you’re painting your home to cover the previous colour or design, or you simply want to achieve a richer, more vibrant tone, applying multiple layers of paint is sometimes necessary.

After allowing the first coat to dry completely, thoroughly check the colour intensity and look for areas where the coating seems uneven. If you notice any imperfections, don’t hesitate to apply another consistent layer of paint to get the desired result. However, remember that with each coating you apply, the final shade of your chosen colour gets darker.

Clever cleanup

And finally, cleaning after painting your home is a less enjoyable, yet necessary step to finalise the process. While ensuring your living space is clean and tidy, a good cleaning routine after the painting also prolongs the life of your painting tools for future projects.
Here are some hacks for efficient post-painting cleanup: 

  • Before you start cleaning, wear disposable gloves to protect your hands
  • Collect all used paint brushes and dip them in a bucket with warm water to remove all paint buildup. If you have a paint comb, you can use this to clean your brushes too.
  • If you were working with oil-based paint, you’ll need to clean them with white spirit to clean the bristles. Disclaimer: this process should only be carried out in an area with good ventilation 
  • Similarly, disassemble the paint roller and dip it into a bucket with warm water and a few drops of detergent. Rub it with your hands to remove all the paint from the material. You can also run the roller over a piece of paper to see whether it’s clean and get rid of the last traces of paint.
  • Once you finish cleaning all your tools, make sure they are properly dry before storing them to avoid excessive moisture and potential mould growth.
  • Using warm, soapy water and a clean cloth is also a great solution for any accidental drip and spills around the house.
  • If you have any paint left over, make sure to store it in a container with a secure lid, protecting the paint from drying out.